What does Matthew 4:23 mean?Matthew has described how Jesus added four disciples to His team, and He will introduce others later in his book. Now, though, Matthew dives into the content of Jesus' ministry: what He did, how He did it, and why.
Jesus' earliest ministry remained focused on Galilee, where He lived in the northern region of Israel. Scholars suggest there were 200 or more villages and towns located in the region of Galilee. The population may have been upwards of 300,000 people.
Many towns had their own Jewish synagogue. This would have been used as a local gathering and worship center apart from the main temple in Jerusalem. Ruins of synagogues have been found in Israel and other places in the ancient world with large Jewish populations. It was common for worship in the synagogue to include preaching from various rabbis who wished to speak. This gave Jesus, and later Paul, a natural way to introduce Himself and His message in a new community. Jesus and His disciples traveled from place to place, likely keeping an exhausting schedule. Jesus' message everywhere He went was the "gospel of the kingdom." "Gospel" means "good news," and that good news was that God was bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth.
Jesus did not stop at preaching, however. He verified His claim to be the Messiah by supernaturally meeting the needs of the people. This included miraculously healing diseases and afflictions of every kind. These blessings of healing and relief from suffering showed that Jesus really was the bringer of the kingdom of heaven.